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Coach K, U.S. Win Historic Third Straight Gold

Mike Krzyzewski, USA Basketball
Photo via USATODAY

RIO DE JANEIRO – Duke and United States National Team head coach Mike Krzyzewski became the first head coach to lead the U.S. Men’s Olympic Team to three gold medals on Sunday when the USA routed Serbia, 96-66, to cap its run at the Rio Olympics.

The U.S. has now won the gold medal in 15 of the 18 Olympics in which it has competed and has compiled a 138-5 (.965) all-time Olympic record, including 15-1 mark in gold medal games.

Krzyzewski is the first head coach to lead the U.S. to three consecutive Olympic gold medals in men’s basketball, having also guided Team USA to the top of podium in 2008 and 2012.

In addition to the gold medal, Krzyzewski’s last game as National Team head coach resulted in the team’s 76th consecutive win, a National Team record. The previous record of 75 games was established from 1992-2002. Krzyzewski finished his tenure as National Team head coach with an 88-1 record, including a perfect 24-0 mark in the Olympics.

As head coach of the U.S. National Team, Krzyzewski led the United States to five gold medals (three Olympics, two FIBA World Cups (formerly World Championship)) and one bronze (2006 FIBA World Cup). He was also an assistant coach for the gold medal-winning Dream Team in 1992 and a special assistant for the U.S. team that won gold at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles.

Over five Olympics as part of the U.S. coaching staff, Coach K helped his country post a 40-0 record.

Former Duke star Kyrie Irving had four points, four assists and three rebounds for the U.S. on Sunday, as the Americans got 30 points from Kevin Durant to lead the way in the gold medal game. The Americans’ defense was stifling on Sunday, holding Serbia to .377 shooting from the floor and .167 (4-of-24) from three-point territory.

The U.S. also decimated Serbia on the glass, winning the rebounding battle by a 54-34 margin in the gold medal game.

Down two midway through the first, the U.S. ripped off a 21-6 run to take a 33-20 lead in the early stages of the second quarter. The second quarter saw the U.S. outscore Serbia by a 34-14 margin and never looked back.

The U.S. led 53-29 at the break with Irving accounting for four points, four assists and two rebounds. The Americans pounded out 17 fastbreak points and 13 second-chance points in the first half while holding Serbia to 3-of-17 shooting from three-point range.

Irving is just the fourth U.S. player to win an Olympic gold medal and an NBA championship in the same year, alongside LeBron James (2012), Michael Jordan (1992) and Scottie Pippen (1992, 1996).